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Chrome OS 67 introduces split-screen for tablets, touchable Material Design, and more
- Google announced version 67 of Chrome OS.
- The update includes support for ADB and PWAs, along with some tablet-oriented features and much more.
- Chrome OS 67 is rolling out on the Stable channel.
Over time, Google slowly groomed Chrome OS into an operating system that is a legitimate alternative to the heavier Windows and Mac OS. That grooming process continues today as version 67 of Chrome OS introduces a slew of new features and enhancements.
First up is support for Android Debug Bridge (ADB) over USB in developer mode. ADB allows developers to debug their Android apps in Chrome OS, though you have to enter Chrome OS’ developer mode to get it to work. Keep in mind that all of your data disappears once you enter developer mode, so make sure you did not save anything sensitive.
Next up is support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as standalone apps. PWAs are web apps that act more like native apps and can live in so-called app windows instead of a browser tab. PWAs are also fast, can work offline, and do not take very long to load.
Chrome OS tosses in some extra wrinkles to PWAs, such as shareable URLs and Google Cast support. You can also switch between PWAs with your regular shortcuts, so nothing changes in terms of keyboard functionality.
Chrome OS 67 also includes some features with tablets in mind. “Touchable Material Design 2.0 Chrome” makes elements like tabs, the new tab button, and bookmarks easier to press, while split-screen support should improve productivity on tablets. Chrome OS even detects when you detach the screen and put it in a new base.
Other features include feedback reports on the sign-in screen, a cleaner Bluetooth list, inline touchable folders in the launcher, support for zipping files on Drive through the Files app, power menu shortcuts, and select-to-speak to have specific text read aloud.
Site Isolation, meanwhile, is more widely available and lets Chrome load each website in its own process. That way, if a website misbehaves, it does not steal your data from another website.
Finally, the update includes patches for the second Spectre variant for ARM devices on 4.4 kernels. These devices include the Samsung Chromebook Plus, Asus Chromebook C101, and Acer Chromebook Tab 10.
Chrome OS 67 is rolling out on the Stable channel, so you should see it sometime soon.